British woman thought she was pregnant & found out it was a 14 lb. cancerous cyst

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Katie Holmes from England, not to be mistaken with Katie Holmes the American actress with the same name, was only 19 years old when she started getting symptoms that made her think she was pregnant. Her symptoms included what seemed to be morning sickness, her periods stopping all of a sudden, she had difficulty peeing, and her belly started to grow. Those could totally be pregnancy symptoms, right? Except they weren't, they were actually symptoms of an ovarian cyst.

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Katie took multiple pregnancy tests that came back negative, she also went to doctor on more than one occasion and was told that she was not pregnant. She even got a prescription for antibiotics to treat urinary tract infections because of the difficulty she was having when peeing, but the prescription didn't help at all. And the whole time her belly kept growing. Sadly, it wasn't a baby, it was a 14-pound cancerous ovarian cyst.

Katie's story should be taken as a reminder that we all need to advocate for our health, as you'll see.

Months went by and she didn't know what was wrong with her.

Months went by and she didn't know what was wrong with her.

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“I was in lots of pain, I couldn't pee properly and my periods had stopped," she said. “I'd get full after eating half a meal and my stomach was growing in size even though I wasn't gaining weight anywhere else." Her stomach grew to the point that people were asking her when she was due and offering her seats on public transit.

 

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Despite multiple visits, doctors didn't properly diagnose Katie.

Despite multiple visits, doctors didn't properly diagnose Katie.

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She was given medications for gastroenteritis and urinary tract infections, but since she had neither, they didn't work. Katie continued to be in pain. Then one evening in December 2016, while she lay in bed, she felt her stomach drop. “It was the worst pain I'd ever felt,” she said. “I looked down at my stomach as I lay in bed and felt it looked different somehow, so I dragged myself out of bed and to the mirror. My stomach had been solid and round for months, but looking at it that night, it was like the whole bump had dropped to a resemble a soft fat tummy hanging down."

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Desperate, she started Googling her symptoms.

Desperate, she started Googling her symptoms.

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“Googling lead me to a blog about having a girl who had ovarian cyst, and when I suggested that to the doctor, they finally scanned me and found I was right,” she said. She was given an ultrasound and it revealed that she had a cyst that was so big it was covering her ovaries. The cyst was so large that it had pushed some of her internal organs up into her ribcage.

She finally had an answer, but her prognosis was scary.

She finally had an answer, but her prognosis was scary.

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“It was a relief to finally have an answer for my pain but also terrifying because there was a chance that I could have cancer,” she said. “The doctors warned me that if my ovaries were twisted from the cyst, then they'd have to remove them so I was facing the possibility of not being able to have children as well.”

She has surgery to remove what ended up being a 14-pound cyst in January 2017 and one of her ovaries also had to be removed. The cyst tested positive for cancer, but fortunately doctors were able to remove the entire thing and the cancer had not spread.

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If it wasn't for Katie advocating for herself, who knows what would have happened.

You're always told not to Google your symptoms, but if Katie hadn't done just that, she may not have gone back to her doctors and advocated for herself. It was because she pushed for them to check her further that she finally got an ultrasound. Why didn't they give her one from the beginning if her belly kept growing and she wasn't pregnant?

The great news is that not only was Katie cancer-free after getting the surgery to remove the cyst, she was also able to get pregnant later that same year even though she had an ovary removed. This is the best possible ending to such a horrifying story.

Topics: cancer